With the busy holiday travel season right here, it’s a good time to remind everyone of the importance of using your seat belt while riding in a vehicle, including making sure children are properly secured in a car seat or booster seat.
Florida law requires the use of seat belts by drivers of motor vehicles and all children riding in a vehicle under the age of 18.
¢ Buckle Up. A seatbelt is your vehicle’s most important safety feature.
¢ Use a car seat for children under age 3 for every trip, even if you are just going down the street.
¢ Make sure all car and booster seats you use are crash-tested and federally-approved.
¢ Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
¢ Keep children in the back seat, at least through age 12. When used with seat belts, air bags work well to protect teenagers and adults. However, air bags can be very dangerous to children, particularly those riding in rear-facing car seats, and to preschool and young school-aged children who are not properly restrained.
¢ Soon-to-be parents should buy their infant car seat before having the baby so you are ready to bring home the new addition to your family safely.
¢ Replace a car seat if the vehicle has been in a moderate to severe crash to ensure a continued high level of protection.
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For more information about car seats and child passenger safety in general, visit www.usa.safekids.org.